The nurse anesthesia program at Our Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University offers a Doctor of Nursing Practice in Nurse Anesthesia Degree (DNP-NA). The DNP-NA degree curriculum requires the completion of 100 credit hours, including a final scholarly project, anesthesia lab experience with high fidelity simulation and task trainers, and 2500 clinical hours over 36 months of continuous full time study. After the first two semesters the program requires continuous didactic and clinical instruction to provide the requisite number of anesthesia cases, classroom hours, and clinical hours for each student. The program is composed of sequential and integrated courses designed to facilitate achievement of its terminal objectives and outcomes.
The program has a diverse program faculty to include CRNAs and nonCRNAs with various educational backgrounds and areas of expertise. CRNA faculty members teach all anesthesia related content within the program and are responsible for oversight of the clinical aspect of the program. NonCRNA faculty members teach courses appropriate to their educational background and content expertise (i.e. Faculty member with a PhD in Physiology teaches the Anatomy, Physiology and Pathophysiology courses). Typically one faculty member teaches face to face or traditional courses while online courses are taught by two to three faculty members. The ratio for traditional classroom experiences is 1 faculty member to 35-40 students (1:40 maximum), while online is 1:18 maximum and simulation laboratory experiences is 1:5 maximum.
The Anesthesia Skills and Simulation Lab is approximately 1800 square feet and adjoins the dedicated nurse anesthesia classroom. The simulation lab includes:
The Anesthesia Skills and Simulation Lab is solely used by nurse anesthesia students. Students use the lab throughout their educational experience to include a dedicated 16-week Skills and Simulation course during the fourth semester of the program.
The DNP scholarly project demonstrates mastery of the DNP curricular content. The scholarly project demonstrates the student’s ability to identify a practice or system related problem through clinical immersion, synthesize and critically appraise the evidence related to addressing that practice problem, negotiate within the system to implement sustainable evidence-based change within an organization, implement that change, and systematically measure the results of the practice or system related change initiative. The DNP scholarly project documents outcomes of the student’s educational experiences, and summarizes the student’s growth in knowledge and expertise.
The DNP Portfolio reflects outcome attainment of the DNP-NA Degree Program Graduate Learning Outcomes and the DNP Essentials (AACN, 2006) and demonstrates professional growth as an advanced practice nurse. The DNP Portfolio is a progressive project with assignments initiated early in the DNP-NA curriculum and is maintained throughout the program. The DNP portfolio is evaluated by faculty members on an intermittent basis and upon completion of the program. The DNP portfolio is maintained in an electronic format.
All graduates indicate the program prepared them to function as competent anesthesia providers. Employers consistently rate the Franciscan University graduates as excellent practitioners with a broad knowledge base who demonstrate competency in administering anesthesia in all specialty areas. Several Franciscan University nurse anesthesia graduates currently serve on the board of directors for state associations and many are enrolled in DNP completion programs.
Applicants must have a current, unencumbered license to practice as a registered nurse (RN) in any state with eligibility for licensure in Louisiana to be eligible for admission into the program. Upon acceptance into the program, candidates must obtain a Louisiana RN license prior to the start of January classes.
Yes. The curriculum is designed to allow students to work for the first two semesters while they are enrolled in online courses. We expect our students to continue bed side nursing until they begin the traditional, on campus experience in August.
HRSA NAT Grant
Grant For several years the Program has applied for and received funding through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Nurse Anesthetist Traineeship (NAT) grant program. The NAT Grants are awarded to accredited institutions that educate registered nurses to become nurse anesthetists; recipient institutions, in turn, disburse funds to students in the form of traineeship support.
In 2023 the program was awarded a four-year HRSA NAT Grant. The program utilizes HRSA NAT grant funding to allow for expanded clinical rotations and experiences. The objectives of the grant are to (1) increase the number of graduating CRNAs prepared to work in designated MUA/P, HPSA, rural and/or urban areas; (2) reduce health disparities by preparing students to treat and manage patients with substance use disorders and to examine social determinants of substance abuse; (3) reduce health inequities by preparing students to provide anesthesia obstetric services to diverse patient populations; and (4) increase the diversity of DNP-NA students to better align with the US National Census. All funding from the grant is awarded to DNP-NA students as a stipend to offset the expenses incurred by students in the clinical setting.
FMOL Sisters Graduate Scholarship
In 2018, the DNP-NA program was awarded the FMOL Sisters Graduate Scholarship. In 2021, the program was once again awarded the FMOL Sisters Graduate Scholarship for an additional three years. The program will receive $80,000 annually from this scholarship. The program utilizes these scholarships to allow for expanded clinical rotations in rural and underserved areas where students are supervised by practitioners seasoned in the delivery of rural health care. Such rural clinical rotations expose the student learner to the importance of rural health care access, potentially increasing the number of graduates that go on to practice in rural and underserved areas. The scholarship money is awarded directly to the DNP-NA student. By offering financial assistance via grant funding, the expenses incurred by the student for rural clinical education and experiences can be partially offset.